A British pig producer is calling for the creation of a £10m marketing fund to promote British pork to consumers.

Bpex was doing a great job of marketing pork in the UK, but its efforts were being hampered by a lack of available funding through the existing levy system, said Jimmy Butler, owner of Blythburgh Free Range Pork.

"I do believe consumers want to buy our product but they're not currently being educated about it," he explained.

Butler, who sits on the National Pig Association's producer group, has proposed a levy of 80p per pig, or 1p per kilo of pork, to be paid into the fund by producers. He has also suggested that processors make a contribution.

Successful brands, such as Coca-Cola and McDonald's, spent 4% to 5% of their turnover on marketing their products. In contrast, only 0.35% of total British pork sales, totalling £3m, was spent on marketing, he claimed.

"We've got to get much more serious in simple marketing we've got to tell the consumer how good it is," he said.

Now was the ideal time to increase the level of marketing support before the euro/sterling exchange rate eased, making European pork even cheaper than British. In addition, he said, the big retailers had recently signed up to a voluntary code of labelling. "If the consumer now goes into the supermarket and says 'where is the British?' and they're now obliged to label it, what finer time to spend a bit of money on marketing."

Butler has put his proposal to the National Pig Association Council in London, which is currently awaiting a response from Bpex.

Bpex claimed it was "early days" and said that nothing could be done without the whole industry first being consulted.

"We are engaged on it, we're looking to see what we could actually do and what we could actually deliver if the industry felt it was something worth doing," said Bpex head of marketing Chris Lamb.